Surgery Program Appeal
2% of all children born in Nepal suffer from some type of congenital birth defect.
In the USA when our babies are born the first thing we do is to check and make sure that all 10 toes and fingers are present and perfect. In Nepal sometimes baby toes and fingers are not always so perfect. Sometimes there are more then 10 digits or too few, webbed toes or other variations of deformity can also be present. It is not known why this happens but among the possibilities are heredity or nutritional factors, or lack of pre natal care. Drugs taken during pregnancy may also be a factor.
Polydactyly is When a baby is born with more then 10 fingers or toes. Sandip a 4 year old Boy was born with an extra dgit on both feet and unable to wear proper foot protection. The thought of a child never being able to wear boots in the rain or closed shoes to keep his feet warm during the winter is very sad. With a relatively simple surgery Sandip will no longer be faced with wearing flip-flops for the rest of his life. That is a pretty significant accomplishment for the cost of a $200 donation.
Syndactyly is a condition where two fingers are joined together. Sujan, a 5 year old Girl was born with 2 fingers on her right hand fused together. Sujan was reluctant to go to school because of her abnormal-looking hand. She had been the subject of ridicule among her school mates and feared that she would be treated as an outcast due to superstitions about birth defects. Sujan came to our attention while the mobile medical team was in Biratnagar during one of the screening camps. Functionally, her condition did not handicap her but if left untreated, the longer of the two fingers would hamper the growth of the shorter finger.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
You can help provide corrective surgery for children born with disfiguring birth defects by donating to Children’s Medical Aid Foundation.
January 30, 2016
Niru is a 3 year old girl that lost her part of her nose when she was only 1 week old. Her parents had left her alone in the house during the day and upon returning found Niru bleeding and her nose partially gone. It is believed that a rat ate her nose while unattended. A post op picture of Niru’s new nose on her smiling face will be sent in my next report.
It’s not unusual for small infants to be left alone or under the care of a toddler while the parents are working in the field. In high mountain areas and situations such as this, children under five are at very high risk for injury and burn.
Sahyata, a nonprofit organization from the SF Bay Area has been instrumental in identifying and referring children in need of corrective surgery to CMAF. Niru, who lives in Humla close to the Tibetan border would have never been helped if not for Sahyata. Sahyata will cover the cost of travel and CMAF will provide surgery, post op care and temporary housing. It is very rewarding for everyone when nonprofits work together to benefit those in need.
Although the story is true, Niru is a fictional name.
October 31st, 2015
Depa is a 5 year old girl living with 5 family members in a small house made of cement with a straw thatched roof. Her home is in the foothills of the Himalayas in Eastern Nepal. Her father earns a little money from his small teashop and manages to feed the family adequately most of the time. (Depa is a fictitious name)
Depa has a more complex case of syndactyly being that both hands and both feet are involved. This is a very brave girl with a strong desire to write and draw pictures. Several surgical procedures are necessary to provide Depa with proper dexterity and ability to wear normal foot gear. Each procedure will require healing time and physical therapy to optimize the results of surgery. The first procedure on her left hand has healed and with hand therapy Depa is now able to hold a pen, is learn to write and draw pretty pictures. A surgery date for her right hand will soon be scheduled.
Ultimately she will be wearing sneakers, running and playing outdoor games with her classmates. She is indeed a lucky girl. It is your support that allows Children’s Medical Aid to help children like Dipa. Thanks to everyone that has contributed to making a difference in the lives of Nepali children. They truly love and appreciate you.
The World Health Organization reports that fire related burns represent a significant global health burden, especially for children and women.
When corn is harvested in Nepal all parts of the plant are utilized except for part of the husk which is gathered into a pile and then burnt. The pile appeared to be out when a 2 year old girl ran through it and received a 3rd degree burn of both feet. We will call her Shanti to protect her identity. Shanti is now 8 years old and because there was no burn care available at the time of her accident she has disfigured feet caused by burn contractures. Shanti found her way to Kirtipur Burn Center where she will undergo corrective surgery and post op splinting to insure that her feet heal in good alignment.
The average wait for burn victims to receive help is 17 years. It will take time but we can change that.
Two percent of Nepalese children are born each year with a congenital defect that is easily detectable at birth. This is a higher rate than children born in Western countries. Some contributing factors are poor nutrition, inherited tendencies, absence of pre-natal care, and mineral deficiencies during gestation. For many children, surgical intervention may be their only chance to be freed from the stigma, shame and handicaps associated with a congenital defect. While some organizations focus on the important work of correcting cleft lip and palate defects, CMAF seeks to assist children with other types of birth defects – children that would have no other alternative if CMAF did not assist them. We help locate children in need (often by word-of-mouth), educate families about their options, and work to dispel the fears and beliefs related to the cause of the defects.
CMAF partners with a specially trained Nepalese Mobile Surgical Team, lead by world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Shankar Rai (a native of Nepal), to treat a broad range of congenital defects. These include syndactylism (webbed fingers), disfiguring moles, polydactyly (supernumerary fingers or toes) and hypospadius (male genito-urinary problems). Surgical reconstruction offers these children with functional and aesthetic benefits, transforming their futures with the hope of a normal childhood and better life. Villagers with post-traumatic injuries such as ulcerated wounds and disfiguring scars are also eligible for surgical treatment. Services are provided to those in need at no charge, regardless of caste, religion, or political beliefs.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with many Nepalese children living in remote villages where medical treatment is unavailable due to geographic restraints, poverty, lack of medical supplies and/or absence of trained personnel. CMAF addresses these barriers by providing support for the Nepalese Mobile Surgical Team; soliciting, collecting and delivering needed medical supplies; and assisting with post-operative services such as physical therapy, dressing changes, and support for families.